RLI Taking the Lead Podcasts

Episode 37: Dana H. Smetherman, MD, MPH, MBA, FACR


Headshot of Dr. Smetherman

Leading Through Crisis


August 27, 2021

In this episode, Dana Smetherman, MD, MPH, MBA, FACR, a native of New Orleans and breast imager, shares her leadership journey from earning her undergraduate degree in biology from Harvard College and receiving both her MD and MPH from Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans to her current role as Chair of the Department of Radiology and Associate Medical Director for the Medical Specialties at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans.

Growing up she studied ballet, worked as a tutor and in a warehouse, and was president of her high school drama society (just to name a few of her early jobs!) and throughout her professional career, she has applied this same work ethic and energy to each new role and challenge she has taken on. Dr. Smetherman has always been interested in how healthcare fits into the larger context of society and continues to build relationships with both her colleagues and the community to provide the best patient care.

She has put her experience and skills to work for the ACR as a member of the Board of Chancellors, Chair of the Breast Commission and Councilor from Louisiana, as well as for other organizations including serving as President of the Radiological Society of Louisiana, Advisor to the Current Procedural Terminology Panel of the American Medical Association, Board Member for the National Accrediting Program of Breast Centers and Chair of the Technical Exhibits Committee of the Radiological Society of North America.

In this fascinating discussion, you will learn how a fortuitous summer job led her to a career in medicine (and what experience she shares with her great grandfather), what led her to choose radiology and breast imaging, how hurricane Katrina prepared her to effectively manage Ochsner’s response during COVID and why she chose to pursue an MBA and how it prepared her for working and learning in today’s hybrid world.

Even though she was the first in her family to go out of state to college, at every crossroads, Dr. Smetherman was led back to New Orleans and remains a shining example of an engaging and effective radiology leader.

View episode transcript »

Dana H. Smetherman, MD, MPH, MBA, FACR

Dana H. Smetherman, MD, MPH, MBA is a Diagnostic Radiologist who specializes in breast imaging. She is Chair of the Department of Radiology and an Associate Medical Director for the Medical Specialties at Ochsner Medical Center – New Orleans. Dr. Smetherman is currently the Secretary/Treasurer for the American College of Radiology (ACR) and serves on the organization’s Board of Chancellors. She has also served as Chair the Breast Commission the ACR. In addition to her roles with the ACR, Dr. Smetherman has served as President of the Radiological Society of Louisiana, ACR Councilor from Louisiana, Board Member for the National Accrediting Program of Breast Centers, Chair of the Technical Exhibits Committee of the Radiological Society of North America, Advisor to the Current Procedural Terminology Panel of the American Medical Association, Chair of the Breast Economics Committee of the ACR, and as a Physician Director on the Board of Directors of Ochsner Health. Dr. Smetherman has given numerous presentations and has multiple publications in the areas of breast imaging and health care economics.

Did You Know?

Dr. Smetherman has been married for 29 years. She and her husband have 20 year old twins—Emma and Robert—who are rising juniors in college. Outside of work, Dr. Smetherman and her family enjoy visiting their beach house and traveling. Her favorite trip was a two-week cruise from Venice to Barcelona with stops in Athens, the Greek Isles, and Malta (among other places). This trip was particularly special because, in addition to her husband and children, Dr. Smetherman was fortunate to be able to travel with her mother and niece.

Before going into radiology, Dr. Smetherman had planned to be a Neurologist but switched to Radiology after two years in Neurology residency.

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